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Strong network security is crucial no matter where you live or do business. In a city like Tulsa, where 80% of businesses have fewer than ten employees, many businesses work without an in-house I.T. department to manage their network. The best solution for these small businesses, as well as for many major Tulsa corporate offices, is to work with a managed services provider. How can you get the best network security from the ideal MSP? Start by asking these questions.
1. How safe is my data as it moves through the network?
Any time you and your team are connected to the internet, your data and your customer data needs to be protected from online threats. You need strong firewalls and in-depth security measures the same way the Golden Hurricanes football team needs a strong defensive line. Ask for an assessment of your current system.
2. Are my systems safe from ransomware attacks?
Ransomware attacks are increasing rapidly. According to Barkly.com, a business was attacked every two minutes in the first quarter of 2017. By the third quarter of 2017, attacks had jumped to one every 40 seconds. From sophisticated cybercriminals to amateurs using copycat variants or ransomware-as-a service platforms from the dark web, the threats are increasing constantly.
Criminals who perpetrate cyber attacks typically want one thing: your financial resources. With ransomware, they can hold your I.T. systems hostage, demanding a payment on the weak promise that they’ll restore your systems. Ask about how the MSP will protect you from these threats.
3. How will I know if an intruder is on my network?
While customers and others may interact with your website, you need to know when someone is connected to your internal network, and you need to know when they pose a security threat. With the right security information and event management (SIEM) software, you can be sure to recognize threats as soon as they appear and manage those events as they happen.
4. How can I keep my network safe from email threats?
You can’t run a business today without email accounts, but email is a handy tool for cybercriminals to invade your system. Phishing attacks can bring down your entire network and make your proprietary digital assets vulnerable. Talk to MSPs about spam protection, phishing testing, and email content management systems.
5. What happens if something goes wrong?
No matter how secure your system is, you need a game plan for dealing with a breach if it happens. That’s where incident management comes into the equation. Talk to the managed services provider about how network security incidents will be handled if they occur. Ask how they’ll shut down the attack and recover your data and systems.
6. Which aspects of network security can the managed services provider handle?
Tulsa companies and institutions have several options for managing their network security. Some are much more effective than others. Some small companies use a network security freelancer or even leave security in the hands of a family member. Larger businesses may have an I.T. department that’s overworked or not cost-effective.
Whether you’re relying on a lone I.T. freelancer or have a dedicated I.T. staff, you may benefit from the help of a managed services provider. The question is how and how much can you benefit? What services can the managed services provider deliver to your company to improve your network security?
Listen for answers like:
- Virus and spam protection
- Intrusion detection and prevention
- Increasing security on servers, routers, and firewalls
- Security incident and event management (SIEM)
- Data encryption and 2-factor authentication
- Incident management
- Endpoint management
7. How will the MSP tailor their network security services to my unique needs?
I.T. isn’t a one-size-fits-all service. You need an MSP that will tailor their services to meet your needs. It helps if the managed services provider knows your local area and has dealt with your industry before. Now, it’s true that network security is basically the same everywhere. However, when you go beyond the basics, an MSP in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area is best suited to understanding the specific needs of companies in this local area.
The best way to find out about local managed services providers and how they can help you is simply to ask them what they have to offer. When you narrow down the field, you can ask for an I.T. consultation to find out where your network security is lacking. Then, you can get advice on what you need to change from there.
8. What makes this managed services provider the best choice for my business?
When you interview prospective employees, you probably ask them why they’re the best fit for the job. It’s a fair question. If they don’t know what sets them apart, how can you? Besides that, a ready answer usually indicates strong confidence. You need an MSP that has the experience and confidence to handle any network security issues that come up. Put them on the spot and expect a well-thought-out answer.
As you explore, remember to ask the questions to which you need answers regarding network security. Find out how safe your data is right now as it moves through your network. Ask how intruders are detected, identified, and managed. Ask for detailed information about how the MSP will handle network security incidents if they do happen. Get solid answers about how the MSP will work to protect you from ransomware attacks and email threats. Insist on information about services offered and customization for your unique business.
If you’re a Tulsa business owner or manager who is seeking network security services, JMARK is ready to supply you with information on all these topics. Contact JMARK at JMARKIT@JMARK.com or call 918-496-4223. You can also reach out to us through our Contact Us page.
JMARK is a managed services provider with offices right here in Tulsa, as well as Springfield, Missouri, and Fayetteville, Arkansas. Staffed with a knowledgeable team of I.T. consultants, and with 30 years of I.T. security experience, JMARK can give you the advice and services you need to keep your network safe and secure.